Sunday, June 28, 2009

NECC - Sunday

Today I was a part of a panel discussion for technology coordinators. They wanted a variety of viewpoints from people in the classrooms or administrators.
The picture shows my laptop with a Google Doc I used to keep track of my thoughts and comments.
Budget cuts, inventory, and lack of interest by teachers were high on the list of topics. I was surprised that there was somewhat of an upbeat attitude, dare I say "can do attitude"? Most were willing to do whatever it takes to keep technology in the schools. That might look like reusing existing equipment but trying to find a new use. Ideas also included auditing usage to see if subscriptions or reorders for equipment is necessary. Quite interesting. However, one technology leader suggested that technology not be the first thing to be cut. Demand that another area take the hit...Guess that may not quite go over well with some! Anyway, it was interesting being chosen to represent special education teachers.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day of Discovery

Today I was thrilled to spend the whole day at the Discovery Education Network. With the help of my friend Jennifer, I rode the "Metro" train to Silver Springs, Maryland. It took some time to figure out the whole farecard process. I may get the hang of it by the end of the week!
The learning opportunities were abundant. Presentations were given by educators who use Discovery products and are able to demonstrate many uses. I am in awe of the capabilities of each product. It is a pleasure to watch presenters show their passion for teaching with the right tools.
Which student would not benefit from a teacher who is excited to share new knowledge?
My only regret today is that I did not win the big door prize...I so wanted the Mimio system. This is an interactive whiteboard system which does not require a dedicated whiteboard such as a Smartboard or Promethean board. This system uses a magnetic backed "capture bar". It attaches to any whiteboard and uses a specialized infrared pen. Wow. It packs away in a small case and can be carried from room to room!
I think this would be a great option for many because there would be no need to bring in another board. Maybe I will win one during the main NECC conference?!? One can dream, can't they?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Arrived at NECC

The B&B room is not ready for a, I am in Starbucks people watching. This is a view from my table by the window. I will probably explore in a bit...thinking falafel for lunch is high on my list!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Going to NECC

Soon I will fly off to my first technology conference. I have the honor of going to Washington DC (also a first...) for a week of priceless learning and connections.

There are so many choices for sessions to sign up for. I have to say I have lost some sleep trying to figure out a direction. Since I am a special education teacher I am involved in every curricular area. I would like to find sessions to meet each area. Of course, the techie side of me would like to have some enrichment! I have tried to make every minute count. I have a feeling I will be dead on my feet. I am looking forward to a capitol hill visit with many other educators. I am scheduled to visit the office of U.S. Senator Mike Johanns. Unfortunately, he will be back here in Nebraska on business...I am sure his staff will be just as informative. At the end of the week I would like to tour other sites. The Holocaust Museum is tops on my list.

I have to mention that one of the best things happening during my week in DC will be meeting members of my PLN (Professional Learning Network) from Twitter and Plurk. I have officially registered for a "Tweetup" on Monday night. I am pretty sure there is a "Plurkup" planned as well...How amazing to meet many of the people who have become colleagues via the internet!

Here is my tentative itinerary for the conference:
-Edublogger Seminar
-DEN (Discovery Educator Network) Preconference Event

-21st Century Technology Leader Forum (sitting on panel)
-Opening Reception

-Capitol Hill visit prep. session
-Chalk House: 3D game for Building Literacy in Middle School
-Spreadsheets for Math
-Wonderful World of Wikis
-Leslie Fisher's Gadget Class
-Strategies for Using Blogs and Wikids with SPED students
-Video Podcasting
-Comic Life
-iTouch and iPhones for teaching and learning
-Technology in Afterschool Programs

-Essential Technology Tools for Struggling Learners
-Personal Learning Networks in Second Life
-Technology Velcro-Tools that make education stick
-Beyond Blogging - WordPress
-Promethean Board Teacher Tips
-Integrating Technology into Science
-After-School Technology Enrichment Program
-Moving Mainstream Technologies into the Classroom
-Do so Much with an iPod Touch
-Closing Keynote

I will most likely be blogging, Tweeting, and Plurking along the way. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I have been somewhat forced to ponder the thought of "do-overs". By this I mean having a second chance. Seems like this has been something I have taken many hours to work through lately.
I have learned that I am so accustomed to email contact that I forget the power of face to face interactions. For this, I have shed tears. I regret my instinct for quick thoughts which would best be handled in a more personal way.
I have also thought about starting over because of computer issues. As carefully as I tried to think through backing up my computer, I have lost information.
When my computer was re-imaged I tried to restore files. Well...needless to say I am ready to use my laptop as a doorstop! I have wasted many hours trying to make everything the way it was and then some.
All of this has made me want to step back and think what else I might need to start fresh with. Are there other aspects of my life which I am either oblivious to, or just about to make my next tragic move? Hmmm...guess time will tell.
So, there you have it. I need some extra "do-overs"!